LOGROÑO, lying on the Río Ebro, is a prosperous city of around 150,000 – a pleasant place of elegant streets, open squares and riverside parkland. The wine trade is not as immediately apparent here as in, say, Haro, and there are few cultural attractions that demand attention – the principal museum, the Museo de la Rioja, has been under restoration for many years. But the big draw is the city’s lively old quarter, the so-called Casco Antiguo, with an unparalleled selection of excellent tapas bars, for which it’s worth making a considerable detour. The two main annual events – each fuelled by copious wine-drinking – are the Fiestas San Bernabé (June), a week’s worth of enjoyably rowdy local festivities, from street fairs and pelota tournaments to folk concerts and costumed processions, and the even more exuberant Fiesta de San Mateo (September), which coincides with the annual vendimia (grape harvest).

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